Torill and Anders and Jon all respond to Mark’s lament for our blog cluster that I wrote about yesterday. I particularly like Torill’s point that while we then needed to build strong connections with other fresh researchers in our field, we can now trust those bonds and spread out to explore very different things.
I completely disagree that comments are killing community. Look at Grand Text Auto, for instance, where the lively discussions in the comments and between posters are such wonderful examples of how vital the field of cybertext, hypertext, games and questioning new media is. I certainly expand and change my reading of blogs based on interesting comments in my own and in others’ blogs. I suppose comments lower the threshold, allowing new voices to enter a community (if “a” community in singular is the right term)
7 thoughts on “decluster 2”
As an observer and pretend participant of many of the blogs in question, my complaint (privately until now) has always been this Scandinavian Ivory Tower y’all seemed to have (or have had). Always an odd feeling of the toddler trying to sit at the adult table from my end. Wait.. maybe I am practically a toddler. Ah well.
Really? Well in that case, we should be applauding the dissolving of a cluster rather than lamenting it… At the same time as, well, ya know, friends are good to have, good friends, you know?
Most definately jill… and for that reason maybe the real question is – what was the goal of the blog.. or the cluster.. if it was to be used for the purposes of this cluster… then me or anyone else not being fully included shouldn’t be a concern. On the other hand, if the blog was also meant to welcome outsiders and new bloggers, then this cluster may not have been very enabling towards that goal. Whew.. I was able to tame that thought into words.
Wasn’t the “Scandinavian-flavored” cluster idea imposed from the very beginning? The last time I checked, all of the weblogs concerned are published on the (singular, global, WWW) internet, and not on an intranet. Just because one blogger identifies a group of blogs, written by other bloggers who have happened to write about similar topics in some of their posts, and who have happened to comment on each other’s blogs, as a “cluster” does not make it so. This seems to me to be more an issue of categorization from the outside than anything that occurred to the blogs or bloggers themselves. These blogs have been functioning in an open system from the very beginning, and the content of each blog has been dependent on the activities of the individual blogger, not on some pseudoscientific formulation of a cluster. We can impose all the formulations we want, but individual blogs are written by individual bloggers. What does something “Scandinavian-flavored” taste like, anyway? Ligonberries?
Yum. But what I was pointing out, from my own experiences mostly, is that despite it’s openess… it is still possible for a blog (or blogger) engaged in a dialogue with a select group of other blogs, to create a sort-of intranet, where those outside the circle can comment all they want, but won’t necessarily be engaged or allowed entry into this group. It could be open, but still not really open.
What was the purpose of starting this blog, other blogs in this “cluster”, if cluster it ever was? Personal satisfaction for the individual blogger, of course, at least, that’s my main reason for blogging. Sure, there are additional benefits, and I do enjoy the social and professional connections that evolve through blogging.
When I use blogs in teaching it’s really important that I blog in way that fosters community between the students, helps the shy ones in and gently opens up to the world, inviting the world in and helping students make their own connections to the world. I’m responsible for the growth of that community.
This blog? No, I don’t feel any obligations to do anything in particular with it. In fact, if I did I bet I’d start hating it and quit.
Torill’s response to all this is perfect.
jill/txt » inscribe yourself in either space
[…] . Here it is. Is my weblog private or public? Is a blogger responsible for a community or beholden to none other than herself? Is a blog a garden for resting, as Tom Matrullo suggested, […]